2016 Youth of the Year – Ms. Melanie Webster

“As a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs, I now know that I am never alone.”
                                                                                                   -Melanie Webster

Each year, Boys Melanie_Webster_2& Girls Clubs across the country recognize a Youth of the Year, the highest honor a Boys & Girls Clubs member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal chal
lenges and obstacles overcome. The winner of this year’s prestigious title is Ms. Melanie Webster, member of the Lanier H.S. Club. Melanie received a $5,000 scholarship fr
om the Austin Area Boys and Girls Club Foundation. In March, Melanie was named Texas Youth of the Year, and was awarded an additional $5,000 scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She will advance to the National YOY Competition held in
Washington, DC for a chance at yet an additional $15,000 scholarship, which is installed by the President of the United States. Melanie will also speak at BGCAA’s “Great Futures” Spring Luncheon to be held on May 10th at the Hilton Austin for a crowd of 700+ members of the Austin business community.

Melanie Webster joined the Club at Lanier High School during her freshman year. At that time, Melanie was doing her best to manage school, work (to cover basic needs), and caring for her younger brother. She needed help, but was afraid to admit her problems to anyone. At the Club, she found what became her second family. Now a senior, her busy schedule includes duties as Captain of the Vikettes Drill Team and President of the Lanier Keystone Heroes Club – a teen group dedicated to leadership and community service. AP Calculus, Math Club, track tennis, and 250 hours of community service have also kept her pretty busy.

Melanie will attend The University of Texas of Austin in August, with plans to go to medical school. She hopes to establish a private practice to assist low-income families. Melanie credits her mentors at the Club for helping her overcome difficult circumstances. “Wherever life may lead me, I will always take with me a gift from my Club. It’s that my circumstances may dictate a lot in my life, but whatever I go through, there is always someone who cares.”

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